“Visualize the things you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.”
This week a few of my clients had auditions for college Musical Theater programs. Many of them get very anxious for the dance portion, specifically being able to pick up the choreography quickly and be able to execute it properly in a small group. When we get to visualization in our sessions, I teach them the many beneficial uses of a strong visualization practice, one of them being skill acquisition. In this case, they use visualization to remember the sequence, to be able to practice the combination even when they need to be still on the sidelines, and to increase their confidence. I am happy to report that they all felt very proud of themselves post the dance audition and fingers crossed they all get accepted to the program of their dreams!
Last week, I talked about the foundations of a strong visualization practice and using the 5 senses to create vivid pictures in our head. In addition, it is important to control the amount of outside thoughts and negative thoughts that enter the visualization. This week, I would like to discuss the different lenses we have to look through when we visualize. This becomes very important when we are trying to see what it is we want and then be able to embody what it is we want.
There are three lenses we have when visualizing: external, internal, and external/external. In the external lens, you step outside of your body and see yourself engaging in the action you are visualizing. In the internal lens, you are inside of your body, feeling what it is like to be in the action, and seeing everything around you. In the external/external lens, you see someone else executing the action you hope to embody. This lens should really only be used if you are having trouble visualizing yourself. For example, maybe you are trying to learn how to serve the ball in tennis and you can’t quite imagine yourself doing it correctly, but you can imagine your instructor executing the form perfectly. You may visualize this way for a little while until you feel more confident. However, it is crucial that you switch to seeing yourself executing the activity at some point.
In the external lens, you get to see yourself fully engaged in the activity of the visualization. You can even slow the visualization down or speed it up. By being able to see yourself being successful in your visualization, you begin to become more confident and your goal becomes more real. It is important to be able to switch the lens to internal after a while. Being able to visualize through the internal perspective allows your mind and body to connect. You begin to embody that which you hope to manifest. You can start to feel what it means to obtain that goal, emotionally and psychologically.
You can use the visualization technique for many aspects of your life. For example, maybe you have a big presentation coming up at work. By visualizing yourself externally and internally, you are able to practice and embody your presentation without actually verbalizing anything. You can zoom your lens to be able to see even the smallest details. You can make changes to the things you think are not working. And most importantly, you can see yourself being successful, which enhances your confidence and will help you to perform optimally when the time comes. Or maybe you just want to improve your golf game for the next time you go out on the course with your friends.
This week, continue to keep your visualization log, but this time pick one of the steps of the goal that you created during our goal setting week. Begin with the external lens (external/eternal if you need to) and set your timer to at least 3 min. When you are done, write down your reflections, taking note of how vivid you were, if you could stay consist in the lens perspective, if you were able to control outside and negative thoughts, and things you would like to improve upon in your practice. After a few days, switch the lens to internal and do the same. At the end of the week, observe (without judgment) how your practice is going.
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